The seven Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in the state of Ohio, including The Most Reverend Daniel E. Thomas, Bishop of Toledo, have suspended the celebration of public masses through Easter Sunday.
In a press release released on Monday, the Bishops shared:
“Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, After serious consideration of the grave health risk involved in public gatherings and in order to curb the spread of the Coronavirus, the bishops of Ohio have decided, effective immediately, to suspend temporarily all publicly celebrated Masses/liturgies, at least through the celebrations of Holy Week and Easter. The bishops of Ohio dispense the Catholic faithful who reside in their respective dioceses and all other Catholics currently in Ohio from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass through Easter Sunday.
This decision is not taken lightly and, as your bishops, causes us great sadness. However, after consultation with the governor and health officials we are convinced that this is the most prudent and necessary action.
Science has proven that participation in public gatherings significantly increases the risk of contagion. This poses a serious danger to those especially most vulnerable.”